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Independent Study

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An Independent Study project may be undertaken by second and third year students under the supervision of a faculty member and with the approval of Academic Services. Following are the guidelines for taking an Independent Study Course:

1.) Students may substitute an independent study for up to six credits of course work, and up to a maximum of three credits in any one semester, during their second or third years. Work receiving independent study credit must include a significant writing component of 15 pages per credit granted and be supervised and graded by a faculty member.

2.) In general, no professor should agree to supervise independent study projects for more than three students at any one time.

3.) Students will work with their supervising faculty members on all details concerning the scope of the project, the methods of supervising and grading the student's work (whether by letter grade or pass/fail), all deadlines and the amount of course credit to be given for the project.

4.) Independent Study Approval forms are available in Academic Services or on the website. This form must be completed by the student, signed by the supervising faculty member, and submitted to Academic Services for final approval. Approved copies are given to the supervising faculty member, and the student. In rare cases where there are doubts either as to the sufficiency of the writing component or the feasibility of faculty supervision, Academic Services may defer action pending a review by the Associate Dean for Faculty.

5.) The supervised independent study experience is intended to be at least as academically enriching and rigorous as a classroom study experience carrying equivalent academic credit. Supervising faculty should monitor regularly the work of the students supervised in order to assure themselves that projects are making appropriate progress during the academic period involved.

6.) No independent study project may be used to satisfy the course, seminar, or independent writing requirements of more than one faculty member. Students may not receive independent study credit for work for which they are paid or for which they otherwise will receive or have received credit.

Please complete and submit an Independent Study form to Academic Services for approval as follows:

  • Prepare the form in consultation with the supervising faculty member
  • Obtain faculty signature indicating approval
  • Submit the independent study form to Academic Services for approval
  • Retain a completed copy for your student records